So... Kratos kills his family to avenge his family?

By now, we all know the story: Kratos, the bald, badass protagonist of God of War III, spends all his time in an inhuman rage because years ago, Greek god of war Ares tricked him into murdering his own wife and child. And now, to complete his revenge, he's hell-bent on murdering his way through the entire Greek pantheon.

Above: And no minotaur faces are safe until he does

The thing is, Kratos is a son of Zeus, who also happens to be the main target of his revenge. And Zeus is at the epicenter of ancient Greece's convoluted, incestuous mythology. This means that, one way or another, Kratos is related by blood to every Titan and Olympian god he encounters. To illustrate that fact, we've drawn up this family tree:

Above: Click image for the full-sized version 

This isn't a complete rundown of all the figures and relationships of Greek mythology, obviously, but by looking at it, we can see how the characters who've appeared (or whose offspring has appeared) in the series are related to each other and, ultimately, to Kratos. And what it tells us is that Kratos is so enraged by the murder of his immediate family (at his own hands) that he's going to rip his entire extended family limb-from-limb in order to atone for it.

Above: We don't actually know much about these two except that they were apparently worth committing mass deicide over

It sounds a little silly when we say it like that, doesn't it? But then, Kratos has never been one to stop and think about his actions. And besides, it's not like the Greek gods were the most nurturing family in the world.

Now, let's take a look at how our favorite kin-murderer has worked his way through his family tree in each game. WARNING: Spoilers for God of War, God of War II, Chains of Olympus and Betrayal follow. Spoilers for God of War III won't appear until the third page.


God of War: Chains of Olympus

When the PSP prequel to God of War opens, Kratos's hands are already pretty badly stained with his own family's blood. Here's where things stand when the game opens:


Having mistakenly slain his wife and daughter years before, he now serves as a hitman for the gods in an attempt to work off his sins. Over the course of the game, he rescues Helios (his first cousin, once removed) at the request of Eos (another FCOR), imprisons the Titan Atlas (still another FCOR, by dint of being Cronos's nephew) and confronts Persephone, daughter of Zeus and wife of Hades, which makes her Kratos's half-sister AND his aunt. And by "confronts," we mean "kills."

Above: You might be an Olympian god if... your sister and your aunt are the same person

And so, by the end of the game, the black sheep of the Olympian family has reduced his bizarre spiderweb of a family tree by one, all in an effort to make up for killing two.

OK, sure.


God of War

With Persephone dead, let's see how Kratos's family tree stands at the opening of God of War:


Shortly after the events of Chains of Olympus, Kratos found a new purpose: revenge on Ares, the red-headed god of war/stand-in for Satan who'd first bound him into service in exchange for saving his life. It was Ares who, in an attempt to turn Kratos into the perfect killing machine, manipulated him into killing his (immediate) family and made him the pathologically broken, violent man we know and love. And that seems even more messed up when you consider that it's an incredibly shitty thing to do to your own half-brother.

Above: This whole scenario takes on a new dimension when you throw sibling rivalry into the equation

We all know how this ends: when Kratos is mad at something, that thing dies. And so, to pay his half-brother back for being a sociopath, Kratos grows to massive size, kills him and takes his place as the new god of war. So that's another relative down.

Next page: Kratos takes down a few more relatives in Betrayal and GoWII


  • PeeBee - December 14, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    LOL! I love the way you've put the life of Kratos in perspective. But since God Of War Ascension a new next generation platform have been released, so you know Kratos can't get off with a sentence as light as death. I've gotta say that it's going to be nothing less than epic to see what Kratos is like on the PS4 which I think will be strategically put off until Sony as well as all third party software companies stop supporting the PS3 which could be another 3 to 4 year window. As I think production for the next installation of God Of War will pack a hefty price tag considering GOW III expenses racked up a whopping $32 million. Putting the title out for both PS3 and PS4 would only ramp up costs. Nonetheless, it'll be exciting to see what the creative juices flowing at Santa Monica Studios will have come up with.
  • Zeb364 - April 19, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    Wow...I really pissed off the fan boys didn't I?
  • sleepy92ismypsn - March 25, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    how many times has kratos been stabbed through the heart he could crawl out of the depths of hades again but the developers said it was a trilogy but i still hope theres a prequel in the future or a game with another main character recaptcha: assess reversed
  • boxmeizter - March 22, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    HEY, IV'E GOT IT! I THINK I HAVE SOLVED THE LITTLE RIDDLE WITH ***SPOILER ALERT*** In the end in GOW3, after the credits there is a little video. You have problaby seen it. Kratos is gone, and there are blood trails down to the gap to the sea. On the web site linked above, it shows some kind of timer and just water, rain, and mud/shore/a beach... Get the idea? Maybe when the timer reaches zero we'll see Kratos tumbling up from the water wounded iwth "HOPE"? I HOPE SO!
  • mdiaz033 - March 22, 2010 5:34 a.m.

    @Amnesiac i hear ya. i saw that idiot's comment and understood he was either a complete and utter simpleton or a troll. or both : )
  • Sabtos - March 22, 2010 2:34 a.m.

    GR Awesome article. Just finished the game tonight, and while I came out of the game with a different mood not expecting to appreciate this article, it's still hilarious. "pausing only to stab his great-grandmother, Gaia," Laughed my ass off at this. Just, the thought of murdering a great-grandmother is ridiculous, but that it's actually true. Hilarious. "C'mon, he's survived worse injuries than this" Actually he's survived EXACTLY that injury, stabbing himself in seemingly the exact same spot that Zeus did. At least when he stabbed Zeus it appeared to go right through the heart area which didn't seem to matter. The fist seemed to really do the trick, though. Just awesome that part, I wasn't sure if I should keep going but I went on pounding for like 3 minutes lmfao!! I'm still a bit confused about the whole Apollo issue. First, we never see him, second I was under the assumption that Apollo is the sun god in Roman mythology, and since Helios is in Greek, I don't understand how they can occupy the same space. I didn't really study this area obviously.
  • AnimeDreama - December 11, 2014 8:56 p.m.

    Greece had two gods of the sun, Apollo and Helios. Helio's primary duty was to raise and lower the sun, although most myths presented Apollo with that job. The thing is, Apollo is also the god of music. oracles, medicine, colonies, herding, and poetry. And you DO encounter Apollo - in God of War III. You steal the bow from him after roasting him with a hell hound. Greece has always been inconsistent with the pantheon and what they were gods of. Helios is lesser known because Apollo was the patron deity of Delphi and was more important because, aside from being a prophetic god, he was the inventor of music and the defender of Delphi.
  • TheWebSwinger - March 21, 2010 7:45 p.m.

    Awesome, but aren't most mythology/religion stories a big clusterf*ck of nepotism and family orgies? Man, if they came out with an ULTIMATE GoW collection (that included Chains of Olympus)...I'd kill my family to get it.
  • PeeBee - December 14, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    Yep! Pretty much. Oh, and I hope you didn't kill your family (in homage to Kratos of course) because they've come out with exactly what you wanted. All on as single disc.
  • linkganon - March 21, 2010 4:01 a.m.

    No real story, just a bunch of violence and gore porn....yea, that sounds about right for 99.99% of PS3 exclusives. ssuurree and xbox 360 is nnoott and has a lloott of ssttoorryy. (note the sarcasm). How about NO zeb364, aka xbox360 fanboy. i dare you to playthrough metal gear solid 4 and come back and say the same thing again. yes metal gear solid 4 is ps3 exclusive and kojima said **** 360, we'll just give them a shitty game called rising and call it even. i think he's purposely trying to make the 360 look bad, and i say good for him for finally seeing the 360 for what it really is, which is OVERRATED! there i said it, and i'll say it again. XBOX 360 is OVERRATED!
  • Howetzer - March 21, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    Amnesiac - Good call also don't forget Infamous, Uncharted 2, Demon's Souls, and Hot Shots Golf!!!!
  • Jordanlacroix95 - March 20, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    kratos would win , poseidon is dead . but the ocean would be a bitch to fight...
  • TheHolyHandGrenade - March 20, 2010 5:43 p.m.

    Kratos Vs Ocean. who will win?
  • garnsr - March 20, 2010 6:11 a.m.

    I find it hard to believe that Kratos didn't kill various mortal women. It seems like he must have, but I can't remember. Definitely men, though.
  • VideoGameKing - March 20, 2010 5:39 a.m.

    damn,just counted them up,without athina and his wife and kid,hes kill 17 family members in GOW3
  • Amnesiac - March 20, 2010 12:34 a.m.

    @zeb364: Oh, you mean like LittleBigPlanet? And Uncharted? And Heavy Rain? And Metal Gear Solid? Yeah. All of those are gore-porn with no plot. Uh-huh.
  • Skykid - March 19, 2010 3:50 p.m.

    Well, he starts out his life as a murderous general and ends up murdering his family and half the Greek Gods. He chose his lot in life, he stuck to it.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - March 19, 2010 2:16 p.m.

    The whole series, while good, is just a confusing mess of plot threads and killing. And I thought solid snake had a fucked up family tree.
  • philipshaw - March 19, 2010 1:31 p.m.

    Can't read page 3 yet because I haven't played GOW3 yet
  • kaittybee - March 19, 2010 1:22 p.m.

    well, i'm glad we've all made it pretty clear that kratos isn't about to kill the ocean xD can you just imagine... *Kratos runs along the beach slashing his sword at the ocean* DIE, GODS DAMMIT, DIE! xD HAHAHA!

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